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  CSPAN    Public Affairs    News  News/Business.  

    June 11, 2013
    5:00 - 8:00pm EDT  

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go ahead. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to thank you and the ranking member for all the work that both of you have done. and just express my hope that at some point we're going to be able to come together on a bipartisan effort to actually fix this legislation. as you mentioned, mr. chairman, or maybe the ranking member said this, we're six years overdue in terms of a re-authorization here. and i just want to talk for a second about why i think this is so important. to find a way to bridge this so-called philosophical difference here. because i share a lot of the views with the ranking member on the question of compliance. having been a school superintendent, i've seen how much time and effort is put into compliance with rules from the federal government. by the time they make it to a school and a classroom, it really doesn't make sense to the people who are in that school and classroom. importantly the teacher. most importantly the child that's in the classroom.
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so then one asks the question, well, why are we here having this conversation about what the federal role is? and i think the reason we're having that conversation is that this country's essentially made no prosecute gress -- progress on outcomes for children since a nation at risk was riten. we've doubled the dt -- writsen. we've doubled the amount of money we're spending in our classrooms and seen no real change in outcomes. nine out of 100 poor children in this country can have a reasonable expectation that they're going to graduate from college. you think about what that looks like, we have 100 chairs in the united states senate, 100 desk, 100 senators. and if we were children living in poverty, only nine of those dess,s would be filled by people -- desks would be filled by people who had a college degree. when george bush the son became president of the united states, we led the world in the production of college graduates. today we're 16th in the world. and we can't even re-authorize
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this act. what is the federal role? i think the federal role is to represent children that are marooned in cities in this country, and in rural areas in this country, that have no school anywhere close to them that can provide them with a realistic opportunity out of that neighborhood. or out of an unemployment line. for the children that are the in -- that are in the 91 out of 100 today, that have no reasonable expectation of ever getting a college degree or the equivalent of a college degree, somebody needs to raise the alarm. for them, this is a civil rights issue and this is a question about whether or not they're going to be able to participate in this democracy or in this economy in a meaningful way. and for the rest of us, it's going to mean the difference between recognizing our democracy and recognizing this economy in the middle of the 21st century. if you extrapolate the academic outcomes that we have for
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children in the united states against the changinging demographics in this country and assume that we're never going to change the delivery system of k-12 education, we will not recognize ourselves. as the united states of america. and that's the conversation i think we should be having here. i don't think we should be telling people at the local level how to deliver k-12 education. but i think we should be telling people all across the country that we expect a set of outcomes that's different than the ones that we're seeing today in our schools. that's why it's important for us to re-authorize this legislation and work together as democrats and republicans to do it. i think we need to get focused on what it is we're actually trying to solve here which is to create opportunity for children that today in this country don't have any. i look forward to working with people in both parties to try to do that. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator bennett.
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>> i'd like to respond to my friend from wyoming that on the issue of flexibility for rurem areas, obviously i represent a lot of small towns and rural areas too. we've kept a provision in the bill that says flexibility for certain local educational agencies, not withstand anything other provision of this paragraph a local education agency eligible for services under subpart one or two of part b of title six as determined by the secretary may modify not one of the elements required around subplaintiff a of a school improvement strategy selected for a school identified in prar four in order to better meet the needs of such students in that school. what that language is it's the same language, i say to my friend from wyoming, that we had in the bill two years ago. providing for rural flexibility. it's back in this bill. same language system of that
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ne-room schoolhouse, they can, under this bill bill -- under this bill, they can modify one of those things, if it's not 35% of the teachers which would be impossible in a one-room schoolhouse, they can do something else. >> you can see more of this markup of education legislation on c-span2 tonight at 10:00 eastern or any time at c-span.org. the house is coming in now to debate five land and water bills. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the chair lays before the house a communication. caller: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on june 11, 2013, at 3:44 p.m., that the senate passed senate 954, appointment, senate national security working group.
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with best wishes i am signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. . or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. record votes will be taken later. bopp bopp bopp for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 251. >> the clerk: union calendar number 254, a bill to direct the secretary of the interior to convey certain federal features of the electric distribution system to the south utah valley electric service district and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, and the gentleman from arizona, mr. grijalva, each will control 20 minutes.
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the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislate i tais to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. hastings: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hastings: h.r. 251, sponsored by our colleague from utah, mr. chaffetz, transfers title of the electric distribution system to the local entity that already operates and maintains the system this involves ownership due to a federal paperwork error to give the local provider leverage to capitalize investment. congress has passed over two dozen similar transfers, ncluding one in my district, under both republican and democrat majorities. he house passes -- passed this identical transfer bill by a voice vote in the last congress
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due to its noncontroversial and commonsense nature i feel urge my colleagues to support its adoption once again and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. grijalva: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. speaker. .r. 251, as indicated by the chairman, seeks to transfer title to the south utah valley electric distribution system from the bureau of reclamation to the south utah valley electric service district. current regulation law -- reclamation law requires that title to reclamation lands and facileties remain with the united states until specifically authorized by congress. similar legislation passed the house on suspension last congress and we have no objection to h.r. 251 and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i'm pleased to
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yield three minutes to the sponsor of this legislation, the gentleman from utah, mr. chaffetz. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. chaffetz: mr. speaker, i want to thank the chairman and the ranking member here for their consideration. this is a good, commonsense bill, it's passed out of the congress last time and i appreciate the borne nature, particularly the gentleman from arizona, mr. grijalva, for his positive words and the passage of this piece of legislation. h.r. 251, the south utah valley electric conveyance act transfers title on certain portions of the electric distribution system operated by the south utah valley electric service district, local users repaid all applicable construction costs to the federal government decades ago this bill is needed because in order to become more efficient and more effective, ownership needs to be transferred. the system is part of a larger
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strawbury valley project that began in -- strawberry valley project that began in 1906. the transfer of title will divest the bureau of reclamation while providing them greater autonomy to manage in the way that best meets its needs. it is consistent with federal policy and since 1996, as the chairman mentioned, there have been roughly 27 bureau of reclamation projects to local entities that would go through this transfer type of process. an identical bill passed in the house in the 112th congress. congress -- in the 112th congress, the house passed this by voice vote in september of 011. i appreciate the good work on both sides of the aisle to help pass this and i urge a yes vote and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i have no further requests, the gentleman from arizona is prepared to yield back i'm prepared to yield
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back. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. mr. hastings: i yield back my time and urge adoption of the legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 bling in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill -- mr. hastings: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman requests the yeas and nays. those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until downed. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be post-poned. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. hastings: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 993. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: unocalen tar number 41, h.r. 993, a bill to provide for the conveyance of certain parcels of national forest system land to the city of fruit heights, utah.
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the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings and the gentleman from arizona, mr. grijalva, each will cro 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hastings: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hathesings: h.r. 993, introduced by the distinguished mr. bishop of utah would convey approximately 100 acres of national forest system land to the city of fruit heights in utah. fruit heights is completely surrounded by federal land and is in desperate need of a place to develop a cemetery. this would convey a small parcel of federal land far service. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and reserve the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona. mr. grijalva: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker: without objection. mr. grijalva: h.r. 993 would transfer 100 acres of forest service land to fruit heights, utah, at no cost to the city for the use as a cemetery. the parcel of land in question was purchased by the federal government in 2002 for over $3 million from the land and water conservation fund. it is obviously not ideal for federal tax payers to give away land that was purchased with federal money just 11 years ago. however, the bill makes clear that should the land ever be used for anything other than public purpose, the parcel will come become to the federal ownership. i do not object to 993 and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time.
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the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i'm pleased to yield four minutes to the author of the legislation, the gentleman from utah, mr. bishop. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. besh shop: fruit heights, utah is a city of 5,000 people. to the east are mountain owned by the forest service. surrounded it to the south is the city of farmington which has a landlocked cemetery which only allows farmington residents to be buried there. fruit heights really has a significant problem. the only way -- only way they can go is east up the mountain on land currently owned by the forest service but is within the boundaries of fruit heights itself. on this map, the brown, bare ren area without trees is owned by the forest service. surrounding that are houses and only residential roads get up to this area. running through the middle, blasted in there is a canal
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which would be preserved for canal use and be dedicated to that. above it, the area that is above that, still within the city of fruit heights, is too steep for any development. so by city ordinance, they have said when they receive this land, it will be permanent open space. the area below the canal here is the land in question that would be transferred to the city for the purpose of a cemetery which they drastically need. they have been through every area they have potentially in fruit heights city and this is the only area. this is true that a nature conservancy group purchased this this land from a citizen in fruit heights and sold it at a profit to the federal government to be used as habitat for mule deer. mule deer association is neutral on the bill, neither opposing it nor in favor of it and they basically privately say, if it's a cemetery, they'll probably have more forage potential for the mule deer than they have right now. this is what is necessary. i appreciate the minority's
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working with me on this particular issue to find the realization that there is a need for a cemetery. i thank them for their support. i thank the chairman for putting this crucial issue forward which to us may be not crucial but to those dying to get into this place, it is, indeed, crucial. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i advise my friend if from arizona, i have no further speakers. i'm prepared to yield back if he is. mr. grijalva: i yield back. mr. hastings: i yield back the balance of my time and urge adoption of the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 993? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and
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pass h.r. 1157. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 169, h.r. 1156, a bill to ensure public access to the summit of rattlesnake mountain in the hanford reach national monument for educational, recreational, historical, scientific, cultural, and other urposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, and the gentleman from arizona, mr. grijalva, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hastings: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. h.r. 1157 directs the department of interior to provide the public with motorized, nonmotorized and pedestrian access to the summit of rattlesnake mountain located
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in my district on the hanford reach national monument. this 195,000 acre monument designated by president clinton in 2000 is near the hanford nuclear site and is the only one in the continental united states managed by the u.s. fish and wildlife service. at 3,600 feet, rattlesnake mountain is the highest point in the region and it provides -- views of the snake river, the columbia river. unfortunately it took the fish and wildlife service eight years to write a management plan that effectively closed rattlesnake mountain to public access despite the public comments favoring just the opposite. after i first introduced this bill in 2010, the fish and wildlife service offered two public tours for selective individuals and then suddenly reneged on the offer just days before the tours were to occur.
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during a 2011 committee hearing on the bill, the interior department's testimony suggested that the fish and wildlife service supports tourists of rattlesnake but very carefully didn't go the extra step of ensuring the service would allow public access to the summit. finally, last month the fish and wildlife service granted a few dozen people the opportunity to tour rattlesnake mountain summit over two tours. these were the first two public tours offered since the monument was designated. mr. speaker, this bill is necessary to ensure reasonable and regular public access can be guaranteed by law to the citizens in that area. the legislation is sponsored by the tricity's development council, the board of county commissioners, benton county commissioners in which rattlesnake mountain is located, the tricity regional chamber of commerce, the tricity visitor's and convention bureau and the back country horsemen of washington. the american people deserve to
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have access to public lands, including rattlesnake mountain in my district, and i ask that the house pass this reasonable legislation today to make that possible. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. grijalva: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 1157, which would require the fish and wildlife service to provide both motorized and nonmotorized access to the summit of rattlesnake mountain. the bill would allow fish and wildlife service to enter into cooperative agreements with the department of energy, the state of washington, local governments and other interested persons to provide guided tours to the summit of the mountain and to maintain access -- to maintain the access road to the mountain. in 2008, fish and wildlife
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service completed its management plan for this area and determined that service sponsored or led tours in the hiking trail are appropriate and compatible uses for the area. in october of 2011, at the hearing on h.r. 2719, the fish and wildlife service supported the bill's intent to provide appropriate public access on rattlesnake mountain that gives due consideration to all stakeholders, including the yakima tribe. i ask my colleagues to support it and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i only have myself to close so if my friend from arizona is prepared to yield back, i'll yield back my time. mr. grijalva: mr. chairman, yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona yields back. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, let me explain a little bit about rattlesnake mountain and where it's located. i mentioned it was on the hanford nuclear site and the hanford nuclear site was part of the manhattan project in which we built and assembled weapons that won the second world war, and then for 40 years after the second world war, this was a defense production where we were employee deucing our a-- where we were producing our atomic fuel for our atomic weapons. rattlesnake mountain is 3,600 feet and it was closed off for access because you had top secret -- there is a secret site producing weapons of war and you didn't want people to have access to look down the hanford site. that's totally understandable. for that reason nobody really rejected to having the top of rattlesnake open. however, now that hanford is no longer in defense production and hasn't been for nearly 25 years, it's now in a cleanup
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mode. things have really changed, and i -- when i typically have town hall meetings or meetings with people in the tricity area, i ask how many people have been on top of rattlesnake and surprising how few have been up there. but when you're on top of rattlesnake and it's 3,600 feet like i mentioned, no trees, so you can see 360 degrees around you on a clear day which regenerally have in central wreash, you really can see the -- washington, you really can see the columbia river coming from the north, you can see snake river -- by the way, that's where lewis and clark encamped before they made their trip down to the ocean, you can see where the snake river enters the columbia river and the yakima river also comes into the columbia river. so it really is a wonderful site and i think it deserves access to the people. more and more people have had the opportunity in the past to have -- to go up there. this simply ensures that the
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department of energy will come up with a plan in which that area will be -- really be accessed. so i ask adoption of it and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1157. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, -- mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask far the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this otion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1157. type the clerk will report the title of the bill. -- the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of
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the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 144, h.r. 1157, a bill to direct the secretary of the interior to continue stocking fish in certain lakes in the north cascades national park, ross lake national recreation area, and lake chelan national recreation area. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, and the gentleman from arizona, mr. grijalva, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hastings: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, h.r. 1158, the north cascades national park service complex fish stocking act, has enjoyed broad bipartisan support, passing the last congress by a voice vote. it was also reported out of the senate energy and natural resources committee during the
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previous congress on a voice vote with a recommendation that it pass. h.r. 1158 is necessary to ensure that the national park service, in coordination with the state of washington, has the authority to continue stocking fish in certain alpine lakes in the north cascades national park. including the north cascades national park, ross lake, national recreation area and lake chelan recreational area. 2008, the environmental impact statement talked about the lakes and that document identified the preferred alternatives as the one to allow continued fish stocking in 42 lakes in that area where the agency concluded there would be no adverse impact on the native ecosystems. the park service has also requested explicit authority to allow fish stocking to continue within the park complex.
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and that, of course, is exactly what h.r. 1158 does. many tourists visit the park complex for its scenic beauty as well as for its fishing opportunities, making fish stocking an important component of the central washington economy. now, mr. speaker, let me deviate a bit here. while we are discussing public lands legislation, i would also like to inform the house that the committee on natural resources will soon begin consideration of several proposals to designate new wilderness areas. as public lands and environmental regulations subcommittee chairman, mr. bishop of utah, stated last week in july the subcommittee plans to hold a legislative hearing on wilderness proposals . congressman dan benishek sleeping bear and alpine lakes legislation will be considered at this hearing. these and other proposals will
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be judged on a case-by-case basis. mr. speaker, congress has the sole authority to decide which of our land should be included in the wilderness system. establishing wilderness is the most restrictive land use designation that congress can apply to our nation's lands. it greatly limits american public access. the committee will therefore carefully and thoughtfully examine wilderness proposals to determine if the designation is appropriate and listen to local citizens and community leaders whose livelihoods and recreational opportunities could be affected. the committee will also consider proposals to ensure multiple uses of our public lands so that they provide a full range of recreational, economic, conservation and resource benefits. any land use decisions by congress should be made carefully. it should reflect our country's
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current economic situation. it should keep our lands healthy. and it should exemplify the importance of ensuring public access to public lands, and that's why we're going to have a very thoughtful process on wilderness designation. now, back to h.r. 1158, since this is wilderness area, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from arizona. mr. grijalva: thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. grijalva: thank you. mr. speaker, as a general matter, introduction of nonnative species into wilderness designated areas within the national park should be prohibited. in this instance, however, the national park service has found that fish stocking can continue within the wilderness without harm to other national park resources. importantly, the legislation continues significant
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protections for those resources. we worked closely with chairman hastings for the past two congresses to secure house passage of this legislation and am pleased to do so again today. the chairman is to be commended for his efforts on behalf of the north cascades national park complex. we support the legislation and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i have no requests for time and i'm prepared to yield back. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. chairman. i have 11 wilderness legislation points that i submitted and hopefully on a case by case basis you'll get a look at them and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. hastings: i yield myself such time as i may consume, i'll respond to my friend, he has 11, he know misgeneral feeling on that but i do
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believe that wilderness designation should be taken on a case by case basis and we'll go through that due process and with any luck, he may be on that list. with that, i yield back my time and urge adoption of h.r. 1158. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1158? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. hastings: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 723 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 49, h.r. 723, a bill to amend the wild and scenic ivers act to designate a
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section of the weaver, wood, and pawcatuck rivers for potential addition to the national wild and scenic rivers system and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, and the gentleman from arizona, mr. grijalva, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hastings: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: h.r. 723 would rivers e the study of in rhode island for national wild and scenic rivers listings. the natural resources committee amended the legislation to recommend that the study consider any potential limitations on existing uses
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and any impacts to private property that could occur in this designation. these are important protections and are necessary for this study bill to move forward. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from arizona. mr. fwri hall va: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. grijalva: we support the legislation and like -- i'd like to yield as much time as he may consume to the author and sponsor of the legislation, mr. langevin from rhode island, the gentleman from rhode island, such time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. langevin: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i thank congressman grijalva, the ranking member of the subcommittee for yielding and for his outstanding work in support of this legislation and let me also think chairman hastings as well as chairman of the subcommittee mr. bishop and
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your hardworking staff for working to bring this bill to the committee and to the floor today. i'd also like to thank my good friend congressman courtney from connecticut who has been an outstanding partner in this effort as well and -- of course our state partners including he wood-pawcatuc watershed association, the nature conservancy, the rhode island department of environmental management and the connecticut department of environmental protection. their collaboration really has been instrumental in bringing this legislation to fruition. as a nation, we are, of course, privileged to have access to diverse systems of wilderness areas from remote expanses of our country to back yard wildernesses closer to home. the wood-pawcatuc wadder shed is such a place. its rivers are within a 45
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minute drive of every rhode islander, easily accessible for family outings and school field trips. passage of this act b will allow for study for -- of sections of the beaver, queen, wood, and pawcatuck river for potential ategs to the national wild and scene exrivers system. rhode island and connecticut have long been stewards of this rivers and i hope completion of this study will affirm what we rhode islanders already know, that the pawcatuc and its tribute tears possess outstanding recreational, natural and historic qualities that make them worthy of the designation in the wild and scenic rivers. we are eager to share this natural treasure with the rest of new england and the nation. watershed catuck
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offers trout fish, canoeing, and bird photography, with adjy sent hiking and camping for sportsmen. they're in the only part of our heritage, they're a critical part of our tourism industry and the economy. this study will fully engage with lowal government, landowners, businesses, to recognize the existing commercial and recreational -- ities on or adjaysen adjacent to the wadder shed this offers the best guarantee that the wood-pawcatuck will be here for future generations to enjoy. this is the first step along that path. the waters contain outstanding recreational, scenic and heritage qualities that would be an excellent addition to the national wild and scene exrivers systems and i urge passage of this bell. i thank all those involved in
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helping bring this bill to the floor and i yield now -- yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from arizona yields. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i yield back and urge toppings of the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h r. 723 as a-- h.r. 723 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 12a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until 6:30 p.m. today. tenth
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ship. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> >> couldn't help but think about couldn't help but think on of the earlier questions about sexual misconduct at the naval
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academy and elsewhere. at least what's reported in the press, in most of those cases where nothing was done, if that was outside a military reservation with the special laws, local prosecutors would be prosecuting people. there would be people going to jail. and iwould hope a local prosecutor that knew what they were doing would not be taking the position of almost blaming the victims that we saw in some of these cases. i mention that, because i know there is some reluctance expressed in making making the more responsive. but with all of you here, let me tell you, this matter would not
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be before the committee to removing the exception. and allowing state prosecutors to move in on those cases and i throw that out and real laze that realize it would be controversial as a warning to the military chain of command that this the do things that they have always been de is not acceptae. there are many of us on the committee who served and had the opportunity to serve as prosecutors in both parties in earlier careers. and i just throw that out. i'm not looking for an answer. i know the armed services committee and others are looking at it and mr. secretary i was
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heartened by your very, very strong statement in this area. general dempsy i know of your concern. so, i will be revisiting this with you privately. but it is something that we are considering. and um, you know i think we've talked about what the troops have accomplished in afghanistan and the 86th brigade has fought and several have lost their lives live s and with syria and iraq and much of the world desending into secretary yannism. i wonder can our efforts be sustained by the afghan army when we leave, and is it
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possible that we leave earer than we now plan? um,hank you. senator, a very brief response to your sexual assault comments. you have summarid it prey well. you know what i have done in cooperation with our chiefs. as we make those chaes and work with the congress on this, we need to be as sure as we can be that the consequences that come from these decisions to make those adjustments and you know that i agree with that that they are thoughtful as you know the congre instructed the department of $and the ndaa
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statemt to put together a panel which congress appointed four representatives to that panel do dd five are on that panel. that panel will hold it's first meeting over the first two weeks. the objective of that panel is to go down to every aspect of this issue and make recommendations of the congress and to the department of defense on what needs to be changes. these are very qualified xpected that was a portion of a hearing held earlier today on capitol hill. tomorrow we hear more from secretary hagel and general
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martin dempsey as they appear before the senate budget committee to discuss their department's 2014 budget request. you can see that hearing live tomorrow, wednesday, at 10:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. next, today's white house briefing with press secretary jay carney, top exs include the immigration bill being debated in the senate, automatic budget cuts and president obama's upcoming trip to south africa. this is 50 minutes. >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, i have no announcements to make, so straight to your questions. >> i wonder if you have anything to tell us today on the location of snowden, more generally if he's in hong kong or some other country with an extradition treaty with the united states is it thehite
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house's expectation that that country will send him become to the u.s.? >> as was the case yesterday, i am not going to discuss the subject of a recently opened investigation. so the whereabouts of this individual, his status, any details about the investigation, i would -- questions about those matters i would refer to the department of justice and the f.b.i. >> on the broader question, though, if he is in a country, or if someone were to be in a country that had an extradition treaty with the united states, would it be the white house's expectation that that country would -- >> again that goes to the case itself and we're going to wait for the investigation to proceed before we weigh in with that kind of assessment. >> is the president aware that this was an individual that the u.s. was looking at his
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hong bouts when he met in kong? >> i believe the answer is no. and then on a separate topic, can you explain a little bit of the administration's thinking on the decision to stop pushing for changes on the morning after pill availability? >> if i can say on the last one, i think i mentioned yesterday, the president was made awear of the revelations about the individual taking responsibility for these leaks by senior staff aboard air force one after departing california. on the other question, on plambings b, ask me again? >> i want to know what the thinking behind the decision last night was. >> two-fold. you know what the president's personal views are, he expressed them here in this room. and he supported the decision by secretary sebelius with
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regards to the use of this medication by young girls, ages 10 and 11 and the lack of sufficient data. so he supported secretary sebelius' decision, having not played a role in the making of the decision. we have been through a legal process and the court ruled against the administration, an appeals court, as you know, and that ruling means that, or meant that, plan b would be immediately available to anyone. of any age. and it was the decision -- given that court ruling, to proceed with making the simpler version of plan b available because at the very least that addresses some of the concerns about the ability of younger girls to use that medication. so the ruling came against the administration, immediately made a form of plan b available
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and it was a decision the president supports to proceed to making sure that the f.d.a. approved the simpler version of lan b. >> what is the administration doing to ensure that defense contractors dealing with intelligence issues that they have added safeguards against -- >> well, there are a couple of pieces to that question. some of which have been answered by the d.n.i., director of national intelligence. the -- first of all, there's a damage assessment that's ongoing. secondly, it is important to note that when it comes to contractors, they swear an oath to protect classified secrets just as government workers do. and that is important to remember. in terms of procedures that are in place, i think i would refer
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you to the various agencies that have contractors that deal with classified information at the department of defense, n.s.a., c.i.a. and the like, in materials of the procedures in place or any procedures they may be engaged in now in the weak of these leaks but again i think it's important to note that individuals who take an oath to protect classified information are bound by it whether they are government employees or contracted employees. >> was there anything new the administration is doing in terms of seeking contractors? >> i think i would refer you to the agency that employed contractors who have access to, one they have gone through rigorous background checks and other procedures to give them the security clearances they have and that they take the oath that they do for any post-revelation measures they
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may be taking. >> i'd like to ask you about president putin, he said he has no doubt about iran's nuclear program. what do you make of this comment and the importance of those comments given russia's discussions? >> i'm sorry, i haven't seen those comments but -- maybe you can characterize for them for me further. no doubt that ao-- iran's pursuit for mill tear means? that's our view and it's been our view that iran needs to abide by its swer national obligations. >> no doubt that iran is pursuing this for a nefarious intention, he has no doubts that iran is pursuing nuclear program for -- >> that's the opposite of what i thought you were saying. our views haven't changed. i'm not aware of the comments
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by the russian president you just relayed to me but i would say that iran has failed to live up toits obligations under international law, to prove that its pursuit of nuclear technology is for peaceful means. there is ample evidence to the contrary. and we are engaged in a process with our allies to try to bring about a change in behavior by the regime in tehran. and as part of that process, we have instituted the most stringent and broad sanctioned regime in the history of the world. and that is both unilaterally and with our allies and through the united nations and through different means. we have said that there remains time for iran to choose a path of engaging with the
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international community and abandoning its nuclear weapons ambitions but that that time is not unlimited and we obviously monitor the situation very closely with our allies. >> does the president believe that keeping america safe is more important than keeping the information from americans secret? >> as you heard the president say on friday, he believes that we must strike a balance between power -- between our security interests and our desire for privacy. he made clear that you cannot have 100% security and 100% privacy. and thus we need to find that balance, he believes, as commander in chief, that the oversight structures that are
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in place to ensure that there is, you you know, the proper review of the programs that we have in place authorized by congress through the patriot do strike that balance. he also said that he understands and believes it is entirely legitimate that some may disagree, some may believe that that balance ought to be shifted in one direction or the other from where it currently is. and he welcomes the debate about that. he mentioned this very explicitly in his speech to the national defense university several weeks ago on the broader topics of our counterterrorism programs, and spoke specifically about surveillance and the balance we need to strike between security and privacy, between security and inconvenience.
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and that is a worthy discussion to have in public. and he welcomes that debate. because it's an important debate. it's important to neat we have had this debate every time the patriot act has come up for passage and re-authorization and it has been a spirited debate with strongly held opinions expressed by people who are not opposed to the structures that are in place authorized by bipartisan majorities in congress, overseen by the courts, as well as internally by the executive branch. so that's important and it's healthy and we should continue to have that debate. >> isn't it true that security will have to take a back seat, or rather, privacy will have to take the back seat to security? >> i think i've answered the question that we have to find a balance between those two and e cannot have -- if we hope to
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successfully protect ourselves, we can't have 100% privacy, there has to be some modest concession to the need for information as we pursue terrorists who mean to harm the country and to take the lives of americans but that we need to make sure that the programs we have in place are properly overseen, that they are legal, that they are authorized by congress and authorized by the courts and that is the case here. and has been the case with the discussion we have had in the wake of these revelations. but again, i think -- i just want to emphasize that the fact that the systems are in place and the oversight exists and it is significant does not mean that the conversation has ened in the president's view. it means we need to continue to debate this. as i said yesterday, this goes to some broader issues about our nation and the world in
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terms of the nature of electron excommunications and broader issues of privacy. so this is an important debate for us as a nation, it's important in the president's views that we have the kinds of debates we have had in congress over the patriot act and its re-authorization, the improvements to the patriot act to ensure there was oversight that had not existed. prior to 2006, i believe. and the measures that have been take ton ensure that there's judicial and executive branch and congressional oversight since. the president certainly does not welcome the way that this debate has been -- has earned greater attention this week, about releasing classified information about sensitive information -- sensitive programs that are important in our fight against terrorists who would to harm to americans is a problem and it is a great concern. but the debate itself is legitimate and should be
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engaged. >> about the congressional picnic that's been postponed, what was behind this? >> i think it had to do with the president's schedule and he is as you know, taking several overseas trips in june. and that necessitated trying to postpone this. >> the top republican on the senate foreign relations committee is urging the respond at the earliest possible time he says the president is facing a critical policy decision on syria. the president has been evaluating his policy options on syria repeatedly for some time. there are a number of issues that we discussed here that have to do with the use potentially of chemical weapons by the assaad regime and the need to build on the evidence that we have already accumulated that that in fact has taken place. then there is the issue of how
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best to achieve our policy goal which is a fwoshted political settlement to an authority in syria that can provide authority and stability and protect the right of all syrians and secure unconventional and advanced conventional weapons, that can counter terrorist activity and keep the state and its institutions preserved to the extent possible. s the policy goal we have as a nation, a policy goal we have allies and partners on this issue and we evaluate the options available to us in a challenging situation based on whether or not they will bring us closer or inadvertently move us further away from achievement of the policy goal. the president is, as you know and as he has said, reassessing those options. they -- one of the options he has not taken off the table and we continue to assess is the potential of providing arms to the opposition, we already provide an enormous amount of
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assistance to the syrian people, humanitarian assistance as well to the opposition but we evaluate every other option, the one exception to that, although all options are on the table the president made clear he doesn't see a circumstance where we'd have american boots on the ground in syria. >> and what about the timing? >> i don't have any policy announcements to preview for you or forecast except to say that the situation in syria is obviously serious and continues to deteriorate and that is of great concern to the president and to everyone with an interest in syria and the region. we can't to discuss this with our allies and -- we continue to discuss this with our allies and partners. >> [inaudible] >> i'm not aware of any communications from the white house, we are -- where obviously he is and the first lady and we all are concerned about nelson mandela's health
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and wish him and his family well and hope he recovers. >> can i follow that up? the johannesburg part of the trip he's going to take late they are month is that for the president to see nelson mandela? >> well, april, i think that that understates the significant -- understates significantly the importance of south africa and the bilateral conditions we have with that country there is every reason to visit that area on this trip. but i don't have any specifics on the trip beyond what we put joe hanes . burg was added and the question was how this -- >> i don't have any specifics on the schedule to provide to you except to say we are obvious
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concerned about and nelson mandela's health and wish him well and speedy recovery. but we also have a very important relationship with south africa. >> when was the last time that president obama spoke with nelson mandela since both of them are the essence of the first black president for the united states and for south africa? >> i don't have an answer to that question. i know they did meet when president obama was a senator, and the first lady was in south africa and met with nelson mandela when she visited south africa a few years ago, i believe, but i don't know when the president last spoke with mr. mann della. >> does he have a kinship with them because of their historical placing in the two countries? >> the president has written and spoken about nelson mandela in
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the past. i would point to this hugely significant figure in south african history. >> the united states want to prosecute mr. snowden? >> there is an investigation under way and for the investigators to determine whether or not crimes have been committed and to decide what charges, if any, will be brought. and i will not get ahead of that process. >> you have not so far. >> i appreciate the opportunity to get ahead of an important investigation but i'll pass on it. we have made clear that we have serious concerns about the leak of classified information about programs that are important to our national security. but on this specific investigation and the status of the individual who is being
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investigated, i will leave that -- comment that to the investigators. >> speaker boehner called snowden a traitor, would you go that far? >> i won't comment on someone hoist under investigation. i won't characterize him or his status. we believe it is the appropriate posture to take and let the investigation move forward and let the determination about where that investigation will go and whether any charges will be brought and any charges if they are brought to the f.b.i. and investigators. >> as we talked about this debate, you said your president welcomes the debate and you mentioned his speech to the national defense university. he felt that it would be a mistake for what the u.s. to stay on a war footing. isn't the lesson we learned after that speech that he are on a war footing and he expanded surveillance to prevent terror
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attacks. isn't there a contradiction when he was telling the public we are ramping down. you have expanded surveillance and we are still on the war footing. >> it is not a fairly long and detailed speech. >> we are not on the war footing. >> with regards to that, we have as a nation been in active hot wars for more than a decade and the president keeping his commitment from when he ran from this office ended the war in iraq and winding down the war in afghanistan. but it remains the case that we continue to aggressively pursue l qaeda and it is absolutely his obligation as commander in chief to do so and ensure that
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we have the tools necessary to do that. it is also his view and his insistence that those tools that we have and we use are subject to oversight and are carried out and used in a way that is -- that keeps faith to our laws and values, with our laws and values. i don't think there is any inconsistency at all there. we remain in conflict with al qaeda. al qaeda, even though it has greatly diminished. core al qaeda remains a threat and al qaeda affiliates remain a threat and we have discussed that a bit whether it's in yemen or elsewhere and the president is taking every action as commander in chief to ensure we are adequately protected. >> cbs broke a story a couple days ago about the state department, a memo from the
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inspector general's office that a special agent that an ambassador was engaging prostitutes and solicit sex with children. he has certainly denied that. is the president confident in that denial to keep the ambassador in place? >> these allegations are currently under investigation by independent inspector general. there is no final report in these inquiries by the independent inspector general. and as is in keeping with the position we take when we are dealing with independent inspector general audits, we will not comment until we see the results of that investigation. there is a process in place for reviewing any allege of misconduct, the likes of which you mentioned, and we believe that that process should unfold under regular order and not
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going to prejudge anyone or anything before the facts are determined. that said, i want to make clear, the president has zero tolerance for misconduct by any government employee and zero tolerance has been demonstrated throughout his presidency. we aren't going to prejudge based on unfinished investigations by an independent i.g. >> one last thing on this, you say it is still under investigation, the allegations against the ambassador, but there are allegations in this memo against patrick kennedy who is a very high state department official which suggested to kill the original investigation to protect the ambassador and maybe others. my question is does under secretary's kennedy's conduct is that under investigation? >> all of these matters that you raised are under active investigation by the independent i.g. at the state department and
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we will not prejudge the outcome of an ongoing inquiry. >> is it appropriate that the state department has gone so long since 2008 without a full-time inspector general? >> i don't have any information for you about the staffing of but i will ffice, have to take the question. if this is related to the questions that ed mentioned, there is an active investigation. >> just in general terms. state department, labor department, homeland security and defense and agencies of international development don't have full-time inspector generals. >> i will take the question. >> on a separate topic, i think julie got to it quickly, is the president's personal physician on emergency contraception
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change? >> the views are as he expressed them. those are his personal views and put it in the context of being a father and he supported the decision that secretary sebelius made at the time, but the fact is that this case has been litigated and appeals court has ruled against the administration making available a version of plan b immediately and it is the view of the administration that given that ruling and the availability of plan b, it is in the best interest of the country that the simpler version be made available. if you are familiar with the ruling and the two different versions of the medication, i think that explains why we have taken the position we have. james or wyden said of clapper that he quote, didn't give straight answers on the n.s.a. hearing that took place in march.
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the president has called for open and honest debate and widen said the american people have to expect straight answers and the questions asked by the representatives. is the president satisfied that the american people are getting straight answers from their leadership when it comes to american intelligence? >> certainly believes that director clapper has been straight and direct and the answers he has given and has engaged in an effort to provide
more information about the programs that have been revealed through the leak of classified information. >> james clapper said it was the least untruthful statement. >> i'm not sure which statement. >> the statement in the march hearing where the u.s. collects any type of data of all of the millions of americans and he said the answer to that was no and he amended it but in the
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conversation with andrea mitchell he said it was the least untruthful answer he could have given. >> clapper has been aggressive in providing as much information as possible to the american people, to the press about these very sensitive and very important programs that are authorized by congress under section 702 and section 215 of the patriot act, a much debated public statute that has been passed into law and we authorized three times by congress with bipartisan majorities and i would point you to the statements and documents that have been put out that demonstrate the effort that he has undertaken to provide significant amount of information on these programs given the revelations that we have seen. let me ask you this
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>> an official with a top secret clearance who thinks there is wrongdoing under way what option does an individual have to try and correct that? >> that's an important question and i appreciate it. the obama administration has demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting whistle blowers, and they can expose waste, fraud and abuse. there are established procedures that they can employ that can ensure protection of national security interests. and you know, if you look at the history here, the president appointed strong advocates to the office of special counsel and the merit system protections board and issued a high number of favorable number of actions on behalf of whistle blowers and have begun to change the
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culture. on snoff 27, 2012 after four years of wrong with congress to reach a compromise, the president signed the whistle blower protection act by clarifying the scope of protect and disclosures, expanding judicial review, expanding the penalties, creating new protections for security and ombudsman and strengthening the authority of the office of special counsel to assist whistle blowers. because congress would not provide protections, the president took executive action issuing a landmark directive to expand it to the intelligence and national security communities for the first time. the directive prohibits retaliation against whistle blowers who report information through the channels and procedures including a panel of i.g.'s to ensure that retaliation does not occur. the president's commitment on
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this far exceeds that of past administrations. and in doing so have steered away from transparency. >> i like that off-the-cuff. >> do you see snowen as a whistle blower? >> i'm not commenting on the status of the individual under investigation. >> secretary kerry participating in the embassy meeting on syria? >> i was asked this yesterday and i can tell you that we have meetings here on syria with some regularity. i'm not going to give a preview of every meeting we have, but given the seriousness of the situation there and the importance of syria with regards to american policy, you can be sure that we have regular meetings on these issues that involve both principals and deputies on the national security council. again, i don't have a specific
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meeting to announce from here because they are fairly frequent and routine. >> fair to say that the white house is edging closer towards a decision meeting? > i don't have any announcements except the president is reviewing the options available to him and tasking his team to review the options with an eye what actions we might take that bring us closer to the achievement. >> one other topic on snowden, can you describe the damage he has caused? >> i think i would refer you to statements by the director of national intelligence who is in a position to better assess that at the outset and note that more comprehensive damage assessments are being done. it is without question a matter of significant concern when we see leaks of highly classified information about very sensitive
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programs that are classified for reason, that they are important to our efforts to combat terrorists and extremists and those who seek to do harm to our nation and take the lives of the american people. but for more specific assessments, i would refer you to the director of the d.n.i. i would ask them. >> on syria again, you reminded us that the president is is there his options, any concern there? >> well, i don't have a list of options to review for you, since they are all on the table. i guess you could assume that any option you might ask me
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about within reason and logic would be on the table. why we tend to talk about here are what actions might be taken in response to assessments, evidence of the use of chemical weapons, for example, what actions might be taken with regards to further assistance to the opposition, given the circumstances in syria and given the assessments we make about what the impact of a decision like that would be. but -- i'm not going to weigh in on specific options and whether they are being considered, because as the president has said with a caveat on the exception of -- on the option of putting boots on the ground, the president has said all options remain on the table. >> there are discussions also, are there -- >> we talked about this issue
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with our allies and partners all the time because it is of such eat concern to the president and american leaders in general as well as the leaders of the untrys of our allies and partners. there is concern about the violence in the region, concern about hezbollah and the fighting in syria on behalf of assad. these are all matters that are a serious concern beyond the borders of syria. >> can you tell me if the state department is on keystone xl is on the president's desk? >> it is operated out of the state department and i refer you to the state department for updates -- again, i think you should take that question to the state department. considering the mail tear
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gains by the syrian government -- u.s. is conducting talks with jordan. is this a plan b for syria? >> well, let me refer first to the -- that's clever, first to the question about jordan. jordan is a close friend and ally and our militaries in particular have a long-standing relationship. in reference to your question a ssile and f-16 are in jordan and that is again an annual exercise, so it is not related to syria or proposed options in syria. on the first question as i noted earlier, there is concern here and elsewhere about the deteriorating situation there, about the involvement of
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hezbollah and iran in the fight in syria on behalf of assad. and the president is reviewing the options available to him when it comes to american policy and working with our allies and partners on ways that we can assist the syrian people and assist the syrian opposition in trying to achieve the goal that we have stated, which is a peaceful transition to a post-assad syria, to an authority in place in syria that respects the rights of all syrians and protects conventional and unconventional weapons, that combats terrorism and terrorists and it is in pursuit of that goal that we evaluate the options available to us. >> what makes you confident that that confident will participate
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in geneva, too? >> on the geneva question, we are working to convene a conference as soon as practical as soon as it is determined in partnership with the united nations that we have done the necessary preparations to bring the parties together and move forward towards a political solution and we are pursuing this and pursuing a conference in geneva, but it hasn't been the one track we are pursuing here. the political process cannot occur in a vacuum. there is ongoing fighting in syria and that is why -- even as we continue our discussions with our allies, with the opposition about geneva, the situation on the ground means we continue to explore what more we can do to support the opposition as it onfronts the tyranny of assad.
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>> it was said on saturday that the president was going to follow the summit and going to have some meetings with representatives in this country today. do you have any update? >> i don't have any presidential interactions and i will check with the national security vizzer. >> do you have anything today? >> i will have to take the question. >> on the n.s.a., obviously a big deal, members of the president's own party questioning the d.n.i. clearly has repercussions that are far more significant. isn't it time for the president to address the american people? isn't this leadership when you are taking them in a new direction and confronted with these various challenges? >> the president took questions and answers at length on friday. and -- i think he answered a
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total of 14 minutes, two multi-part questions on this issue, that is six or eight questions. and the fact of the matter is, he will continue to discuss this. he is interested in and believes in a debate about these issues and believes it is worthy and important to engage in that debate and i would just note as i did earlier that prior to these revelations, the president addressed this specific issue in a speech at the national defense university. >> what about the magnitude of this? >> you weren't interested in this until the revelation. >> most americans were not aware of this. >> the patriot act is a public statute. there is a debate about the re-authorization debate every time it comes up for re-authorization. and under which these programs exist have been debated and
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since the first re-authorization that made sure that oversight that did not exist over programs in the previous administration in the first years of the previous administration does exist. and that was see insistence at lawmakers and then-senator obama that enhanced oversight by the three branches of government and programs that are vital. >> casey has said that president obama ought to have a fireside chat with the american people? >> i think i said, glen and i appreciate yours and attorney general's recommendations, the president has and will speak about this subject. >> you just said now to glen, you refer us to back to the speech at the national defense university no where in that speech does the president address these private contractors for intelligence or
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the other initiatives that the president was looking to address. if the president -- >> you missed the big story here -- and i grant there is a about contractors, but the focus -- >> and they are participating in our intelligence community. >> that is an interesting mmunication and part of this date and contractors have been involved in both defense and intelligence efforts and when it comes to security clearances, they are subject to the same system of checks and security clearance procedures as government employees.
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but, which is not dismissive of the question because i think that is a question that is -- merits debate. but the issue is if you are a private contractor and you take an oath to handle and protect classified information, you are under the same obligations as i am and josh is and others here who have security clearances. so the legal protections and the legal regime is the same. >> an hour at national defense university, the president didn't mention private contractors once and this is now -- you say -- you say he wants to have a conversation -- >> i'm not sure what point you are trying to make. the president gave a lengthy speech about the use of -- >> you keep cutting me off. what i'm trying to ask you, the president didn't specifically mention contractors. >> you said that. >> in the vacuum of that omission, the snowden incident
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has filled that gap and the president wants to have the conversation. does this conversation begin now on the contractors' issue which is about 70% of intelligence gathering and doesn't that open the door that the president has left closed? >> no. that is an issue and i think i said in answer to your partial question that it merits debate. but whether it is a private contractor or a government employee the issue of classified information and the obligation that individuals who take the oath to protect it is the same. it is worth the discussion that there is discussion and debate in the past about contractors in other parts of the government and that is worth debate. when it comes to the issue of protecting our privacy and security that the balance that we seek remains the central issue regardless of the
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employment status of individuals who take the oath to protect classified information. >> on immigration, the president this morning talked about potential changes to the bill. senator mcconnell is looking what he terms major changes in the areas of border security. is the president open to major changes to this bill? >> the president gave remarks about immigration reform a few hours ago and made the point that the bill that emerged from the senate judiciary committee represents an extraordinary amount of hard work by a bipartisan group of united states senators. a process that in committee that allowed consideration of numerous amendments and passage of amendments with bipartisan support. it does not represent letter for letter exactly what the president wants nor does it
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represent what any individual republican lawmaker or democratic lawmaker wants, but it does represent a strong consensus provision on the central preliminary that the president laid out when it comes to comprehensive immigration reform and we strongly support that bill and look forward to the process that begins today of consideration on the senate floor of comprehensive immigration reform and we sincerely hope that as this bill is debated and as amendments are considered that the significant majority of lawmakers in the senate who support comprehensive immigration reform reflecting the support that's out there and the views of the president prevail over any efforts to sabotage that when we have as the president said a unique opportunity to address this challenge for the first time in
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many, many years and we do not want to miss that opportunity, an opportunity that will be good for the middle class, be good for our businesses, be good for our security. one of the issues that is frequently raised, border security. it is important to note a, that we have taken significant steps to enhancing our border security since president obama took office. we have the most boots on the ground on the border than we ever had as a nation and doubled the number of border patrol agents. and in addition to that, the bill itself that the senate passed out of committee represents the most significant border security bill in our history in terms of resources allocated towards further border security. and that's very important. it also makes clear we have to have a clear path to citizenship for the 11 million. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by
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national captioning institute] yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 54, h.r. 251, a bill to direct the secretary of the interior to convey certain federal features of the electric decision distribution system to the south utah valley electric service district and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or
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commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 404, the nays are zero, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the unfinished business is vote of the the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1157 on which yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 69, h.r. 1157, a bill to ensure
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that public access to the summit of rattlesnake mountain for educational, recreational, historical, scientific, cultural and other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 409, the nays are zero. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the
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gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i send to the desk a privileged resolution and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 255, resolved that the clerk of the house of representatives request the senate to return to the house the bill h.r. 2217, entitled an act making appropriations for the department of homeland security for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2014, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to the consideration of the resolution? without objection, the regulationlusion is aagreed to and the motion to -- agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.
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he house will be in order. members, please take your conversations off the floor. he house will be in order. he house will be in order.
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the chair is now prepared to entertain one-minute requests. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: madam speaker, request unanimous con stont address the house for one minute -- consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one inute. the house will be in order. please take your conversations off the floor.
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please take your conversations off the floor. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. thompson: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, friday's job report reminds us that the number one issue remains jobs and the economy. every day the house majority fights for solutions to grow the economy. by advancing an all-of-the-above energy plan, promoting a fair and simpler tax code, and making it easier for families and students to afford college. on may 23 the house passed h.r. 1911, the smarter solutions for students act, a bill based on
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the president's 2014 budget request that would provide a market-based interest rate for student loans -- excuse me -- and prevent the scheduled rate hike on july 1. rather than encouraging the senate to join the house in this good faith effort, the president chose politics over students and threatened to veto for a solution that's based on his own proposal. from student loans to reliable jobs, americans want a strong economy and a more secure future. we can deliver on this, madam speaker, but only if the president starts leading and the senate stops campaigning and both start working for the greater good of the american people. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new hampshire eek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam speaker. sexual assault in our military is nothing short of a crisis.
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we owe it to our men and women in uniform and to our veterans, too, to do all that we can in the united states congress to prevent military sexual violence. to improve medical services for survivors and to hold attackers accountable. we must safeguard those who report these crimes and ensure that they are not retaliated doing the right thing. ms. kuster: that is why i am a roud sponsor of a bipartisan bill, h.r. 1864, which is included in the house national defense authorization act we are voting on this very week. introduced by my good friends and colleagues on both sides of the aisle, congresswoman jackie walorski and lawyer etta sanchez, this important -- loretta sanchez this important legislation would strengthen protections for whistleblowers who report sexual violence in the military.
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this reform has bipartisan support in both chambers. 102 co-sponsors in the house, and the strong backing of many of the new representatives who are focused on working across the aisle to actually get things done. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 1864 and to continue working together to end sexual violence in our military. thank you, madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: your time has expired, thank you. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? mr. paulsen: unanimous consent to dreals the house for one minute, -- address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman voiced for one minute. mr. paulsen: i just want to recognize a true american hero. world war ii veteran, jerry nauss. after enlisting in the army, jerry served for the duration of the war in the first infantry division, nicknamed the big red one. he served as a wire trouble shooter and risked his lifetime
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and time again to assure -- to ensure that communication lines remained in tact. jerry was a native minnesotan, led a distinguished military career and exhibited immense bravery, landed on the beaches of normandy on d-day and fighting through europe, including in the battle of the bulge. because of his heroic actions, he has now been named a knight of the legion of honor by french president. the legion of honner is the highest decoration in france -- honor is the highest decoration in france. it's important that we always remember our nation's veterans and keep those who still serve in our thoughts and prayers. i'd like to thank jerry nauss for his service and thank him for a much-deserved honor. you make minnesota proud. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. wilson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, owen en -- revise and extend my remarks.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: madam speaker, when dogwood stables in south carolina won the 145th running of the belmont stakes saturday, you mr. filner:ed all the promise -- he fulfilled all the promise that they sought in -- all that was seen in the colt. the people of akin county, identified by "the new york times" as one of the world's greatest equestrian centers of excellence, were overjoyed by the horse's accomplishment. congratulations to the president of the dogwood stables and his wife, anne, his partners, paul, mike, margaret, rl and charlie, todd fletcher, who trained ate award-winning horse for the race, the jockey who rode him to victory and the individual responsible for training the horse over the akin training track. the horse continues a winning tradition to be trained over the akin training track anwins
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the third jewel of the thoroughbred's racing triple crown. the akin standard today correctly identified this, quote, as a win for every single akin resident. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war n terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i send to the desk a privileged report from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 256, resolution providing for consideration of the bill, h.r. 1960, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2014 for mull tear activities of the department of defense -- military activities for the department of defense and for military construction, to prieb military personnel strengths for such fiscal year and for other purposes and for providing for consideration of
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the bill, h.r. 1256, to direct the securities and exchange commission and the commodity futures trading commission to jointly adopt rules setting forth the application to cross-border swaps, transactions of certain provisions relating to swaps that were enacted as part of the dodd-frank wall street reform and consumer protection act. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. beneficiary of -- bishop of new york for today and mr. lamborn of colorado for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the
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majority leader. mr. smith: thank you very much, madam speaker. madam speaker, last week new jersey lost its senior senator and the senate lost its last remaining world war ii veteran when senator frank lautenberg passed away at the age of 89. he died from complications from viral pneumonia in new york. since then, on this floor, on multiple occasions, in the united states senate, throughout the state of new jersey, and frankly across the nation, all of us have paused to express our deepest respect for senator lautenberg and sorrow on his passing. to senator lautenberg's family, his wife, bondy, his six children and his 13 grandchildren, please accept our deepest condolences and our prayers. senator lautenberg served five terms in the u.s. senate on behalf of the people of the state of new jersey. he was first elected to the senate in 1982, re-elected in 1988 and 1994. after a brief retirement, senator lautenberg made an
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unexpected comeback and won a fourth term in 2002 and was again re-elected in 2008. in december of 2011, he cast his 9,000th vote and now holds the record for the most votes ever cast by a new jersey senator. while serving in the senate, frank lautenberg became a leader on public health and safety issues. he led the effort to ban smoking on airplanes with the enactment of public law 101164 and will forever be remembered for his efforts to protect individuals and children from secondhand smoke. he fought for transportation and improvements in chemical plant safety. he worked to assist members from historically persecuted groups with a credible fear of persecution to qualify for refugee status, including religiously persecuted soviet
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jews. he also fought for the release -- for the relief for victims of terrorist attacks, including the first responders who experienced health complications after the 9/11 attacks and for the families and communities across our state recently devastated by superstorm sandy. senator lautenberg was, as i said, the last veteran of world war ii greatest generation to serve in the senate. he enlisted in the army to serve his country in uniform, went to school on the g.i. bill, began a successful business and ran for the senate to, in his words, quote, pursue a career in public service, and to give back to the country that helped give him so very much. senator lautenberg has been a mainstay of new jersey politics for decades and with his passing, the senate and our state has lost a dedicated public servant.
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i'd like to yield to the former mayor of paterson a good friend and colleague, the congressman bill pascrell. mr. pascrell: thank you madam speaker, thank you, congressman smith, for your great service to your state and country. adam speaker, we've lost a great man then senator lautenberg passed away last onday, i lost a good friend. the city has produced many great individuals and characters alike but few if any have a life story like frank lautenberg. like me, he grew up on the streets of paterson, literally. both of us came from families of immigrants who came to paterson. like pilgrims. ike plymouth rock.
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it was paterson plymouth rock, that's what it was, when you come down to it. we had the same dreams, many thousands in our city had the same dream. through hard work and determination, we learned that you could provide your children with a better life and a successful future. despite all the dreams for the young -- for their young son, i don't think that sam and molly lautenberg, frank's beautiful parents, deceased, ever could have imagined all that frank would eventually achieve. only in america. but then again, frank never forgot the sacrifices his family made for him. he learned what real hard work was from his father, who labored in the silk mills of paterson to provide for his
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family. he learned how to persevere from his mother who raised him in the face of poverty. they lived four or five different places in paterson as they moved around and as his dad passed away when he was -- his dad was 43 years of aming. in the face of poverty. hen at the edge of 19, frank lautenberg, after -- had to summon all those lessons and more when his father passed away, leaving him to support the entire family. he never forgot those hard lessons. they served him well throughout all the journeys of his life. he spoke about those journeys every time he came before a classroom in paterson, new jersey. he visited, revisited and revisited, brought computers, brought computers, and of
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course a.d.p. was one of the great corporations in america. formed in a garage. in the back of a house in paterson, new jersey. i say, madam speaker, how many people must be kicking themselves when they didn't invest way back when, they thought it was a wild idea, taking care of people's payroll. it's not easy to grow up on the streets of paterson, new jersey, take it from me, personally, congressman smith. you have to fight for every nch in order to get ahead. frank truly embodied what it means to be a fighter. that's what made him such a successful representative from new jersey. you heard the congressman, congressman smith, specify all of the issues that he was involved in and when he was involved, he was totally immersed in the subject area, to help americans. didn't matter what nationality,
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what ethnicity, what color, didn't matter what religion, it mattered that you were a human being and the -- in the greatest country in the world he talked about it often. when he came back from the service, he talked about it. served his country in the second world war. you know, regardless of how you feel on issues, you don't take on the gun lobby to ban firearms for domestic violence offenders you don't take on big tobacco to ban smoking on airplanes, without getting a few scars in the process. the thing frank's opponents didn't realize is he got his scars long ago, growing up on the streets of paterson, new jersey. his roots are exactly what made frank so successful. first in the army, then in the private sector, and finally in the hallowed halls of the u.s. senate.
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but despite all he acheed, he never forgot where he came from. that's the secret. when you forget where you came from, when you forget your roots, when you forget the street you lived on, guys and gals you talked with, your mom and dad how they sweated out every day, i mean, when you worked in silk mills it was no day at the beach, not by any stretch of the imagination. we many times forget our smith, congressman smith, and you know that we forget where we came from. we think we're better. you're a congressman, oh -- but he never forgot where he came from. despite all that, what he achieved, he knew his roots. one of the proudest moments of my career was standing shoulder to shoulder with him when we pass le to successfully legislation to finally
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establish the great falls national historic park in paterson, new jersey. it's our yellowstone. it's our grand canyon. doesn't take up nearly the amount of space but it meant so much to not only patersonians but people in that area. paterson, the third largest city, first industrial city, alexander hamilton knew what he was doing, frank lautenberg knew what he was doing. we've been pushing many, many years for federal recognition, in fact, i still have a picture hanging in my office of senator lautenberg and i touring the great falls when i was the mayor of that city. and the -- in the true paterson spirit derek spite opposition from the park service, we weren't getting off to a good start, and opponents in congress, who never wanted to see an urban national park, we
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never stopped fighting. just a few years ago, we finally reached our dream to get the great falls the federal designation it deserves. members of both sides of the aisle came together and on that day, secretary salazar was there, democrats and republicans joined together, where industry started in this great nation. the park is now in the first stages of its development. and i believe one day it will be a crown jewel in the national park system. thanks in no small part to our great senator. it's a fitting legacy for him to leave to the city he loves so much. these last few months, with his health getting weaker, necessitating long absences if the senate, frank never lost his passion for the issues. he had spent his entire life
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tissue never lost his passion for the issues he had spent his entire life defending. despite his health, he came to washington to cast a critical vote on a bill to expand background checks. no one was going to stop frank lautenberg from fighting to make this world a better place even the limitations of his own body couldn't hold him back. i join my friends and neighbors in pa forson, where he used to cut his hair, pasadena peak, used to stop at the markets, and he'd stop in to a coffee shop downtown. we mourn this tremendous loss of one of our favorite sons, one of our patriots. he was a person first, he was a legislator second. the same man on the street that he was on the senate floor. he always got -- you always got the genuine article. frank lautenberg was not a spectator to life. frank lautenberg was a leader,
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a loving husband, a loving father, a trusted friend, and a true patersonian. with that, i yield back. mr. smith: mr. pascrell, i want to thank you for your eloquent remembrances of senator frank lautenberg and for your wonderful insights, especially as the former mayor and someone who has known him so intimately for so many years. i'd like to yield now to my friend and colleague, mr. payne. mr. payne: thank you. i want to thank my colleague, congressman smith, for hosting this special order today. madam speaker, i come before you today saddened by the passing of a fellow new jerseyan. he was a dear friend and lleague, the honorable and venerated senator from new jersey, senator frank
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lautenberg. if anyone could embody the actual definition of the american dream, it would be frank lautenberg. born the son of russian and polish immigrants, in paterson, new jersey, he grew up in the great depression. when war hit our shores, he bravely served the country he lowed in world war ii and he was the last of our senators to do so. when he returned home from war, senator lautenberg earned his degree on the g.i. bill, which he later staunchly advocated for the extension of for our current men and women in uniform. and never taking for granted the opportunities that lay before him, after his graduation, he and three of his friends with just an idea and an entrepreneurial spirit began an extremely successful company, a.d.p. if you get a payroll check
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these days, it is likely a.d.p. printed your check. i guess you could say senator lautenberg was the proof that anything is possible if you firmly believed in what you were doing and what you put your mind to. later, he seamlessly transitioned from c.e.o. of a.d.p. to public servant, often demonstrated -- demonstrating determination, grit, and leadership throughout his time in office that came to define frank lautenberg. throughout his five terms in office, senator lautenberg never forgot his roots. he was committed -- a committed advocate for the working middle class that he was a product of. and as a senator, as senator lautenberg knew best, we've got to open doors and not slam them shut. and he always practiced this
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he set no matter what out to achieve he tirelessly worked to make health care and higher education more affordable for working and middle class families. even into his later years, senator lautenberg was one of the leading progressives on social issues. thanks to senator lautenberg and his tremendous environmental work, we have cleaner water to drink and cleaner air to breathe. he was also recognized early on -- the also recognized early on the proliferation of gun violence in our communities and the damage it was doing to our children and families. as a champion of gun safety legislation, he made our neighborhoods a safer place to work and live. and nothing was going to keep senator lautenberg from casting a critical vote on background checks on gun purchase this is past spring.
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though the late senator didn't get to witness the successful passage of this legislation, the fight in washington will continue as we carry out the work of senator lautenberg's vision to keep our families and our children safer. in closing, i want to extend my deepest sympathies to bonnie, his daughters that i was able to meet last week, and his grandchildren. i had the honor of attending senator lautenberg's final tribute last week and it was clear from that beautiful ceremony the incredible impact senator lautenberg has had on so many lives. senator frank lautenberg had a love of life and a commitment to the people of new jersey that will be deeply missed in the halls of congress and in new jersey. he was a great mentor to me especially as the
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he was a great mentor to me. i'll be forever grateful for his guidance and all his tremendous work, he did for georgia and -- for new jersey -- work he did for new jersey and our great nation. we owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude for making new jersey a better place to live. there is no doubt senator lautenberg will certainly be missed and i yield back. mr. smith: mr. payne, thank you very much for your moving words. and sentiments expressed today. i would ask that -- unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on this subject of this special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. smith: thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from california, mr.
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garamendi, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. garamendi: madam speaker, thank you for opportunity to spend a few moments this evening talking about things that are on my mind, and i suspect on the mind of the american public. certainly a lot of news
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recently about collecting data on american citizens. having attended a conference this afternoon, i can tell you that i think the great majority of the 435 members of this house share the deep concern of the american public about our civil liberties perhaps being taken away from us in the process of data collection. i would expect that this house of representatives and the couple of our committees, the judiciary and the intelligence committee, will be spending time over the next few weeks going into this in great detail, trying to assess whether we all made a mistake when we voted for the various laws that have allowed the national security agency and the other agencies to collect data on all of our phone calls and more. i would hope that's the case. we need to know exactly what's happening, how it has happened and what impact it may have on
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our civil liberties. one of the most precious things given to us in the bill of rights is that freedom. freedom from an oppressive government. so we'll see what happens here. for my own part, i want those hearings to take place right away. i have great concerns about all of this and we'll see how it all plays out. as to people stealing secrets, yeah, that's against the law and there ought to be punishment and i suspect there will be very quickly find that punishment available for those who have stolen these pieces of information. now, moving on, i wanted to talk this evening about the american dream. i think it was probably best put forth by president clinton, although down through the ages and for generations and generations, the dream has been pretty much the same. but since he has the most recent quote i can find on this, i think i'll just use it. he said, if you work hard and play by the rules, you'll have the freedom and opportunity to
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pursue your own dreams. and leave your kids a country where they can chase theirs. i like that. in fact, i like president clinton and the way in whichests able -- he was able to articulate -- in which he was able to articulate some of our most fundamental values. in this case he so very well laid out the essence of the american dream. he work -- you work hard, you play by the rules, you ought to be able to have a good life in america. you ought to be able to see progress for yourself and for your families. this issue was brought to my attention at a recent town hall that i had in my district and the gentleman in the town hall, not a tea party, not a liberal or whatever, he just said, i got a question for you, congressman. he said, i've got two kids, my wife and i both work. and we've worked all our lives. i'm in my mid to late 40's now. and i got to tell you, we're not getting ahead. we still have those student
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debts from our children. we still have our home, buts a -- but it's a modest home. we don't own a big boat or any boat for that matter. he said, we just can't seem to get ahead. what's happened? what's happened to the american dream? i went on to cite a few things that i thought were the seeential -- essential elements of that. i want to cover some of those tonight. this is not going to be an exhaust -- exhaustive description of the issue. i want to say that or come to that in subsequent special order hours that my colleagues and i will take up in the coming weeks. but just a couple of things that came across over the last weekend that i think really xemplifies some of this. ideal. educations open to everywhere -- open to everyone. in america everyone can get a great public education. the reality is different. in 2007 one-half of the children from the wealthiest households completed their college education.
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only 9% of the children from low-income families completed their college education. that's a gap that has never been wider since 1989. so with regard to that ladder of success, education, if you happen to be poor, or in the lower income, chances of you completing your college education is one out of 10. how about being able to have freedom from want? one of the four freedoms that franklin roosevelt so beautifully articulated during the great recession or great depression. but as a result of the great recession, in 2010, a total of 46.2 million americans were below the poverty line. that was the highest number in 52 years. and as best i could find in more recent, the last two
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years, that number has not really changed very much. so we're looking at 46 million americans that are living below the poverty line. so freedom from want. may not be readily available to a very, very large percentage of americans. how about the land of opportunity? we all believe america's the land of opportunity. well, not really. on average it takes five to six generations, five to six generations, that's 125 to 150 years, from a child from a poor background to rise to the middle class. not to the upper class. to the middle class. i looked at that and said, clearly that has to be an inaccurate analysis. but it's not. so for a child from a poor background, that's those 46 million americans in poverty,
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they could wait five to six years on average, it's not everybody, obviously some will do it faster and others won't do it at all, to get to the middle class. interesting. sad and challenging for us. income inequality. this is what some people like to call -- well, i won't use that right now. income inequality. you work hard and you do ok. i think that's what president clinton said. if you work hard and play by the rules, hm. really? the united states ranks 93rd in he world on income equality. behind great britain, australia , here's one that caught my attention, nigeria, argentina
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and japan. what income inequality means is the distribution of wealth within the economy. and when you have income inequality, the share of the pie that is available to the wealthy is significantly greater and the -- than the share of the pie to the great mass of the population. that's income inequality. fascinating statistics. statistics are kind of the basis for many of our arguments. there are many more statistics along this line that we ought to be paying attention to. and over the next couple of weeks we're going to be speaking to these as we pursue reality of the american dream and what we can do to rebuild the american dream. a couple of notions that i have right at the outset that i'd like to share as we go through this shortened one-hour, first
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of all, the american dream very much depends upon a job. if you don't have a job, and we've got some maybe 12 million americans that don't, they would like to work but in some cases they've given up and in other cases they simply haven't been able to find a job, so you got to have a job. there are ways that we can create jobs in this nation. certainly we depend upon the private sector. but down through the decades of this democracy, beginning with our very first president, there has been a common bond, if you will, a partnership between the government and the private sector in creating jobs. in his very first days in office, george washington asked alexander hamilton, his treasury secretary, to develop program, policy, on manufacturers, which is another word for manufacturing. alexander hamilton came back a
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few -- i guess a couple months later with a report on manufacturers. very, very interesting and instructive to us today. in that our very first president and very first treasury secretary said that the federal government has a significant role in developing the economy. manufacturing. we did then and we do today. alexander hamilton said george washington, here's what we need to do. we need to use the purchasing power of the government, that is the tax money that's spent by the government, to buy american-made goods and services. well, now there's a good idea. we've had the buy in america policy in the united states for many, many years, all too often ignored by the various agencies that are supposed to oversee the purchasing. right now we have that ro problem with the military -- we have that problem with the military who are supposed to go green to develop alternative power sources that they can depend upon if the grid goes
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down. however, they're routinely ignoring the buy america requirements that the law has because they're purchasing these massive solar arrays as though they are available in home depot. i don't think so. but nonetheless it's an example of how the various arms of the u.s. government in one way or another ignores the purchasing requirement of buy america. literally using our tax money to buy american-made goods and services to employ americans. it turns out that this is part the make like to call it in america agenda. a series of proposals that my democratic colleagues and i are putting forth to build the american manufacturing sector. for example, the department of
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defense obeying the law and buying american-made solar panels for those large arrays that they are putting up on various military bases. or the private sector's putting up for the military. buy america. make it in america. use our tax money to buy american-made equipment. by the way, i've got a bill that i've introduced on this for the last two years now that simply increases that purchasing content to 85%. i didn't have time to bring up another photo but i'll tell you about it. in the american recovery act, otherwise known as the stimulus bill, there was a provision for to k to have $480 billion purchase new advanced, efficient locomotives for the northeast corridor. these would be electric power locomotives. i think 7,000 horsepower merchandizes.
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somebody, and i'm -- machines. somebody, and i'm not sure who it was, wrote into that requirement that these had to be 100% american-made. now, nobody in america was making 100% american locomotives. in fact, very few locomotives were made in america anyway. but nonetheless contractors, manufacturers of locomotives said, half a billion dollars, hm, have to be made in america. so, a germen company, one of the largest -- jerman company, one of the largest manufacturing companies in america said, oh, we could do that. so in sacramento, california, just outside the edge of my district, semens, who already had a factory -- siemens, who already had a factory manufacturing light rail cars and street cars, said, let's is expand this factory and we're going to build 100% american-made locomotives. . three weeks ago, the first of those 70 locomotives rolled
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onto america's rail tracks. ow being tested in colorado, we can look forward to thousands of jobs in america as a result of that. 200 specifically at that new manufacturing plant in sacramento and then the supply train, all the people supplying those american made parts to that locomotive are going to have jobs. that's a good thing. that's part of our make it in america agenda and here's back to the first point. those jobs are middle class jobs. one of the fellows i met at that ceremony when this train -- locomotive was rolled onto the tracks, said, he was telling me about himself, he was may believe 35, 37 years old and i asked him, how long have you been here? he said, i've been here five or six years. i said, really? what are you doing? he said, well, that's my train.
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i built that train along with my co-workers. i was responsible for building that train. i said, wow, you must have a lot of experience. he said, five or six years. i said five or six years and you know how to build that? he said yeah, i was trained by the germans who came over here and helped us learn how to build it and now i'm responsible. i said what did you do before this? he said, i finished high school, messed around for a while, so i hired on here at the lowest paying job. he's now firmly in the middle class. taking pride in his work. taking pride in building it in america. that's a lesson for us here in congress. and we really ought to take that lesson and put it into law. into a law that says, we're going to use our taxpayers' oney to purchase american made goods and equipment. think about the infrastructure
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in america and let me give you an example. it's kind of interesting when off long airplane flight like i did today from sacramento to washington to read the newspaper and occasionally you find some interesting things in the newspaper. ere it is. yes, california could use $44.5 billion to fix an aging water system over the next two decades. according to a federal survey by the environmental protection agency. oh, that's california. we have the greatest need, $44.5 billion. and texas, who likes to think it's going to be bigger than california, maybe in size but certainly not better, with apologies to my texas colleagues, $34 billion, new york, $22 billion, and that doesn't include repairing from
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sandy. it turns out that these are repears to investments made by our fathers and mothers and grandfathers and their fathers and mothers. so these are water systems that have been built over the last, in california over the last maybe 120, 130 years, in new york probably goes back a couple hundred years. these are water systems that were investments by previous generations that we have been living on, literally consuming these investments, and not repairing and replacing and upgrading. shame on us. it's as though you go to the supermarket once a year and you fill your pantry and freezer and refrigerator with all the food and you simply sit there and consume. and you consume and eventually refrigerators -- refrigerator's
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empty, pantry is empty and you go really hungry. that's what we've been doing here in america. we've been consuming the investments of priest generations. here we are with the new report that's out and for my state, california, $44.5 billion. for texas, $34 billion and for new york, $22 billion, just for the water systems. that doesn't include sanitation systems, that doesn't include the road systems. bridges, highways. we're living off the investments that were made by previous generations. and we can see the result of that. we've had bridge collapses recently, hello, i-5, washington state. we had bridge collapses. anybody been on the interstates and notice the -- noticed the disrepair? i have. i suspect most americans have. so we're going to have to once again invest in our basic infrastructure and when we do, you know what happens?
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americans go back to work. in middle class jobs. so that perhaps that average american that will never in five generations get out of the bottom poverty level can jump up into the middle class by getting one of those solid construction jobs which across america are middle class jobs. we have enormous needs. by the way, we're going to have to pay for it. i remember when i was in college buying gasoline at about 19 cents a tpwhron. 20 cents a gallon. that was a long time ago in the 1960's. and one day i was out buying gas and i -- i had some time because my car was empty and it was slow to fill and i looked at the sticker on the pump. of that id, 12 cents
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18 cents was tax. an excise tax. state and federal. so 2/3 of the total cost of that gasoline at that time and that was in the 19 -- that was in 1964, was for taxes. oh, my goodness. oh, my goodness. is the american public awear that it's been since 1990 since the excise tax on gas lean has been raised? it's about 18 1/2 cents on gasoline, a little high own diesel. what's the cost of gasoline in the united states today? $3 bnt 50 average? want to do that mathematics? it's not 2/3. not at all. so you wonder, where's the money for investments? we have decided to consume the investments that were made in the 1960's, when the general public at least in california
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was willing to pay 2/3 of the cost of a gallon of gas lean in taxes. today we consume. and we pay the price. we pay the price in congestion. we pay the price in safety. and we pay the price in jobs. this is something we're going to have to consider here in congress. we're going to have to look at ourselves, we're going to have to take up our courage and say, what are we doing here? are we going to be consumers? or are we going to be investors? are we going to consume the investment of our fathers and mothers, or are we going to invest in that infrastructure so that our children can have the kind of modern, necessary infrastructure that they need upon which their economy will grow? we're going to have to deal with this because the surface transportation act has to be
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renewed this session of congress. not likely to occur this year. but before we end our work in january of 2015, we must deal with this issue. and so the american dream, if you work hard and play by the rules, you'll have the freedom and opportunity to pursue your own dreams and leave your kids and leave your kids, a country where they can chase theirs. let's just say this is the opening of what i hope will be many sessions in the evening, following our session in the which n or evening, in we engage in a discussion on the american dream. a discussion about really the future of america. a discussion that i say one --
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i see one of my colleagues has decided to join us this evening. welcome. share with us your thoughts on pursuing infrastructure and the american dream, jobs, how we can deal with creating opportunities in america. >> i want to thank the gentleman from california for being consistent and coming down to the house floor and always making sure that the issues of the day are brought to the american people but also try to persuade the house of representatives to move in the direction that quite frankly the case continues to be made for these investments that you talk about with regard to infrastructure. mr. ryan: now this to me seems like a very simple proposition, there was a great article today, i think it was today or yesterday, by ezra klein taking about, we have to get away from the deficit hawk issue into the infrastructure hawk issue. i want to join me infrastructure hawk caucus if there is one here, but this
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simply articulates a position that i've held from before the american recovery act and still hold here today that we have projects in the united states that need to get done, that need to get built, bridges, roads, airports, ports, all across the country, rail, all across the country, investments that need to be made. combined sewer systems. all over the united states of america. that need to get done at some point. and what i like about what mr. klein said is that we're talking about what we're leaving to the next generation. now, at some point they're going to be left some deficit. and we have an only fwation here in congress to make policies that are going to make
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investments to reduce that deficit. in some instances that means balancing the budget over the long-term -- balancing the budget. over the long-term we're all in agreement that that is a moral issue for us not to leave that huge deficit for our children and our grandchildren. but there are also deficits that, in other ways, that we can leave our children. and that's if we have infrastructure all over the united states, that needs fixed, and we don't fix it, that is a deficit that we are leaving to our children and our grandchildren. that road needs fixed, that bridge needs fixed that sewer system needs upgraded. the real system -- the rail system needs upgraded. so if we don't make the investment now, someone's going to have to make it down the line and the argument we're making is that maybe some money
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will have to be borrowed today in order to do that project or do all of these projects. but the value of doing it today is two-fold. one, the money we're borrowing interest, most 1% in if not less. so we're borrowing money with a very, very, very small interest payment to get the job done. for a project that's going to have to get done anyway. now five years from now, 10 years from now, the project is probably going to need more work, health care costs are going to be higher, energy costs are going to be higher, labor costs are going to be higher system of the project is going to cost more money because we're going to have to do it at some point. e other factor is, that we have high unemployment now,
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double digit unemployment work the men and women in the building trades. the men and women in the construction area. construction field. so by doing the project today, we not only get the project done, but we're also putting people back to work that need to go back to work that will then have money in their pocket to go out and spend and pay taxes and help get the economy going again. this is a very, very simple economic principal that we are trying and -- principle that we are trying and fighting to implement here and we keep running into roadblocks, no pun intended, roadblocks that are preventing us from getting the economy moving. now we have an obligation in this clint to make sure we give the next generation a country that is moving in the right direction. and i think when you couple a strong emphasis on investments
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and -- in roads and bridges and rail and combined sewer overflow and water lines and tams all across the country, we're going to put people back to work. not to not to mention high-speed internet which can light up the next generation of american workers. i wanted to come and join my friend here who is carrying the flag week in and week out right here on the floor to say we have a lot of work to do here. and to the american people to say there are members in this chamber who are saying make these investments. and the president had a plan. wasn't quite as big as i wanted it to be or i'm sure my friend from california but maybe he thought what could get through in a jobs plan and it got